If you want to revel in the blues, legendary performer Sonny Rhodes will be playing with his stellar voice and lap steel guitar in Nelson on Friday.
The 73-year-old Texas-born musician is an American blues singer who now lives in Anaheim, Calif.
Getting his first guitar at eight years old, he became serious about the blues at age 12. Apparently being the sixth child of sharecropper parents, he had a lot to write about as he has recorded over 200 songs.
He loves to write about things in life as it’s full of ups and downs.
“If I can make it better, it makes it worth it ’cause you don’t want to make it worse,” he said. “If you can write about living, it’s a great song.”
Coming from Texas where guitar is king, Rhodes always heard the lap steel guitar in country and western music and wanted to bring it to the forefront of his music. That and his style is what he brings to the stage.
“I used to wear a turban for years as I considered myself a disciple of the blues. But when I’m on stage that’s probably one thing I can say is I’m probably the best dressed blues player you’ll find.
“I’m an old guy who if you saw on the street you wouldn’t recognize; you’d see a smile on my face, I’m balding and you’d see a beard.”
Playing the blues for over 60 years takes a lot of talent.
“I’m a blues person by choice. As I grow older, there is something that comes to me when I play. There is always something new to be found in my sound.”
This is Rhodes’ second time playing in Nelson.
He has been nominated 15 times for the Blues Music Awards winning the Instrumentalist-Other category in 2011 and has performed at the San Francisco Blues Festival which is the longest running blues festival in the US.
You can spend an evening with Rhodes on Friday at the Spiritbar. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are available in advance at the Hume Hotel.